The best ones turn my answer from "Well..." to “Yes. Yes, you do.”
It’s been a strange start to spring. Some years, this season effortlessly breathes fresh energy and unbridled optimism into the air. This year, though — with every piece of good news seemingly accompanied by an asterisk — it feels as though that line graph of springtime hope has been a little spiky.
It can be a strange time for skin, too, as it starts to emerge from its winter cocoon. Despite living in a city where the temperature rarely varies all that much, I find that my complexion still goes through a funny, fussy adjustment period this time of year. I recently returned to an old favorite, the delightful Kristina Holey + Marie Veronique Balancing HypoTonic, to help take care of that congested, looking-for-equilibrium, it’s-been-too-long-since-I’ve-had-a-facial fussiness. Within a day or two, my skin sprang back into balance, and it reminded me just how much good a great tonic can do.
Whether you call it a tonic, a toner, a mist, or an elixir, it has the same objective: to help your skin transition from the cleansing step to whatever treatment you might apply next. It’s one of the first things that we tend to let go of when we’re trying to streamline our routines, which is understandable. But it’s a tweak that can also make all the difference, especially if your cleanser or tap water leaves residue on your skin that doesn’t make it happy (which happens more frequently than one might think) or your skin could use a little help finding its way back to a state of balance after you wash it (which is almost always the case); that extra five seconds or so will set the foundation for any subsequent products to work even better.
My skin tends to swing from dry to oily due to a thyroid condition that treats me to all kinds of exciting surprises, so I rotate tonics frequently to keep things in balance, often switching to a new one when I get to the bottom of a bottle. When my skin needs extra hydration, I’ll reach for TWELVE’s Ultra Revitalising Elixir or YULI’s soothing Cocoon Elixir; when it’s feeling a little more congested than usual, I’ll use the inimitable Balancing HypoTonic; and when I look in the mirror and want things to look a little brighter, I’ll pick up a bottle of YULI’s Metamorphic Elixir.
Right now, that HypoTonic is just the ticket for me — and, given all the comments referring to it as “the crack” on Instagram, it looks like I’m not alone.